Many many years ago, parents let their kids play in the street, stay out until the street lights came on, and have sleepovers with their friends. Fast forward to the present time, and there are so many new risks that children face in the world. There are so many dangers of sleepovers, so my husband and I have made the decision that our kids will not be allowed to have sleepovers…with anyone…ever!
You might be thinking that we are crazy people, but just let me explain!
Here are dangers of sleepovers and why I do not allow my kids to have sleepovers!
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Benefits Of Sleepovers
Some might say that benefits of sleepovers are independence and socialization. I would come back and say that you are wrong.
Kids can learn independence from their parents during the day. They can play by themselves, attend birthday parties, go to school, and whatever else…during the day!
Kids also get socialization during the day. Children can still make friends at school, extracurricular activities, or in your neighborhood…during the day!
The Dangers Of Sleepovers, And Why I Say No
My kids have a great schedule now! They go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
If something unique pops up into our schedule, and my kids go to bed even an hour later, I can definitely expect meltdowns and attitude the next day.
So why would I allow my kids to get off of their schedules?
Now my kids are still very young, so keeping older children on a very tight schedule may not be as important. However, no matter what age your children are, if they attend a sleepover, they will not sleep as well as they would in their own beds.
As an adult, I get cranky if I do not get a good night of sleep, so how can we expect children to behave if they are tired? We just can’t! As parents, the only we can do to avoid meltdowns because of lack of sleep, is to make sure they are getting enough sleep.
Have you ever been out in public and watched another parent do something that you thought was insane? I know I have seen parents do things that I do not agree with and would never do in my own home.
If you allow your child to have sleepovers, you are giving another parent full rights to parent your child for the entire evening and night.
Let’s think about this for a minute…
My kids go to bed at 8 pm, but another parent might let their kids stay up until midnight watching TV and eating snacks. So guess what my children are going to be doing if they stay the night at that parent’s house?
You probably guessed right…they will be up until midnight, watching TV, and eating snacks.
So the next day when I try to put them to bed at 8 pm, they will wonder why I do not allow them to stay up late, watch TV, and eat snacks. They will question my authority, and think I am a mean and horrible mom.
As parents we have rules that are in place to keep our children safe, and to keep everything running smoothly in our house. We want our kids to respect and follow the rules, but how can we expect our kids to follow the rules we create if we keep allowing them to break the rules?
I hate to admit it, but I find myself saying no all the time as a parent.
I find myself saying things like: “no, you can’t stand on the countertops, no, you can’t eat the piece of chalk, no, you can’t sit on your sister’s head, or no, don’t make a slip n’ slide on the kitchen floor.”
It’s easier to say no to your own kids. For some reason saying no becomes much harder when it is someone else’s kid.
People are afraid that they will upset another kid, but we don’t have those fears when its our own children (they are stuck with us whether they like it or not).
Even if another parent has the same parenting styles as myself, and I agree with how they are raising their kids, how do I know that they will be able to say no to my kids?
As a child, my cousin would stay the night all the time. If we wanted to do something, I would have her ask my dad, because he couldn’t say no to her. Kids are much smarter than we give them credit for.
What Is In Their Home?
Everyone has dirty little secrets! Parents little secrets could be something really small, or something huge! Either way, everyone has something they hide from the world.
I could get to know a parent, analyze how they raise their own children, and even set rules and boundaries for when my child is at their house.
But I still cannot go into their home and search it from top to bottom. They might have things in their home, that they hide from the outside world, or even from their own kids.
How do I know that my child will not come across these things when they are at this house? You can’t know this, which is exactly why there are so many dangers of sleepovers.
Questions to consider:
- Is there alcohol in the home? Will the parents be drinking it?
- Are there pornogrphic magazines in the home (even if they are hidden)?
- Do the parents have firearms in the home?
- Are there parental lock on the television?
- Do the kids have constant unmonitored access to the internet?
- Does the house have an alarm system?
- Who else is going to be stopping by the home while my child is there?
If you ask another parent these questions, they might think you are insane. There really is no way of knowing the answers to these questions, which is just another reason why I say no to sleepovers.
I loathe the fact that this has to be on this list, but unfortunately it is something that every parent has to worry about.
Did you know there are 859,500 registered sex offenders in the United States (and that is only as of 2016).
How well do you know the parents that you child will be staying with? Are there going to be any family members or friends of the parents stopping by that just might be on this list themselves?
How well do you know the neighborhood your child will be staying in? Your child could be staying with parents that you trust, respect your rules, and are just overall great parents, but how many registered sex offenders live in the area?
Make sure to checkout Family WatchDog to see what possible dangers are in your neighborhood.
What could happen to your child if you are not there to protect them?
Are Kids Mature Enough To Say No?
Have you ever watched those videos where parents say that they have had the ‘stranger danger talk’ with their kids, and they are so certain that their kids would never leave with a stranger?
And then they continue to do an experiment, where a stranger tries to get the kids to leave with them. A great majority of kids leave with the stranger without even thinking about it.
If you haven’t watched these videos, I highly recommend you watch some before you agree to allowing your kids to have sleepovers.
To add to this, so many kids are faced with having to deal with peer pressure. Allowing your kids to attend sleepovers is putting them in jeopardy of facing peer pressure when no other adults are around to help the situation.
I don’t believe the question is: Are your kids mature enough to say no? Or are my kids mature enough to say no? Or even at what age are kids mature enough to say no?
I real question is are kids (in general) mature enough to say no? I believe the answer to this question is no…kids are not mature enough to say no!
This is exactly why the drinking age and tobacco use age are laws not just recommendations…because kids are not mature enough to say no.
What Happens During The Night?
Most normal, law abiding, rule following, respectful people are sleeping during the night (aside from those people that work the night shift).
The only places open at night are bars and strip clubs. The only things that happen during the night are drinking and partying.
There is no reason kids should be out of their own homes during these hours. There are so many dangers out in this world, especially at night, and these nighttime dangers translate directly to the dangers of sleepovers.
I Will Sleep Better
I am the huge worry wart, and I do not trust easily…if you haven’t noticed that by now.
This might be a selfish reason, but I would not be able to sleep without my kids safe and sound in their own beds.
The thoughts of what could happen to them would be circulating my head all night long.
Additionally, the time before bed that I get to kiss my kids goodnight and tuck them into bed, is very special for us (especially at the young age that they are).
I Won’t Let Other Kids Stay At My House
There are a couple reasons why I won’t allow other kids to stay the night at my house.
First, I can’t say no to allowing my kids to stay the night at other parent’s houses, but then say yes, your child can stay at mine.
This could cause some frustrated and annoyed parents, so we avoid this all together, but just say no to sleepovers.
Second, I don’t want to be responsible for other kids. Watching after my two kids is difficult enough.
If another child were to come to my house, fall, and break their arm, I would have to answer to the parents. I just don’t want to have to be in a position like this.
Related: Why I Don’t Make My Kids Share.
There are so many dangers of sleepovers that are many times overlooked. My kids are my world, and I am not willing to risk their safety, so they can sleep at someone else’s house.
This is just not worth it to me. I have thought about the dangers of sleepovers, and if I allow my kids to stay the night outside of my house, I am taking a risk.
I will NEVER take a risk on my kids safety.
So what do you think? Do you allow sleepovers? Why or why not? Please let me know in the comments!